NYS WRITERS INSTITUTE
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CELEBRATING 25 YEARS OF LITERATURE
AUTHOR OF “THE HUDSON: A HISTORY” (2005), TO SPEAK IN HONOR OF THE HUDSON QUADRICENTENNIAL
NYS Writers Institute, September 30, 2009
7:30 p.m. Reading/Discussion | Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center, Reception and book signing to follow
Tom Lewis, author of “The Hudson: A History,” will speak in honor of the Hudson 400 on Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. [NOTE EARLY START TIME] in the Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center, on the University at Albany’s uptown campus. The event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the New York State Archives Partnership Trust, the New York State Writers Institute, and UAlbany’s Offices of the President and Provost, as part of UAlbany’s Hudson 400 theme semester. Reception and book signing to follow.
Tom Lewis is a professor of English at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY, and the author of “The Hudson: A History” (2005), a grand retelling of the river’s past featuring well-known and little-known stories of explorers, traders, soldiers, artists, politicians, writers, industrialists and environmental crusaders.
Filmmaker Ken Burns said, “What Tom Lewis has so wonderfully done here is willed to life one of the great rivers in our history, insisting that it offer up its deep secrets and best stories.” Author Kenneth T. Jackson said in advance praise, “Few places in America can match the beauty, the majesty, and the historic significance of the Hudson River. Thanks to Tom Lewis’s elegant style, penetrating observations, and marvelous illustrations, we at last have a book worthy of such a grand topic.”
The “Booklist” reviewer said, “The incomparable beauty of the Hudson Valley, somehow surviving the effluent poured into it, connects the individuals and events appearing in Lewis' chronological story, becoming explicit when he takes up the famously ethereal Hudson school of landscape painting. Spanning armies and aesthetics, the versatile, fluid Lewis writes with affection for the river and its history.” The “New York Post” reviewer said, “No book I know so beautifully interweaves history, art, writing and commerce.”
Earlier books by Lewis include “Divided Highways: Building the Interstate Highways, Transforming American Life” (1997) and “Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio” (1991). The “Chicago Tribune” said of “Divided Highways,” “Anyone who has ever driven on a U. S. interstate highway or eaten at an exit-ramp McDonald’s will come away from this book with a better understanding of what makes modern America what it is.” “School Library Journal” said that “Empire of the Air,” is “fast-paced, fun reading and doubles as a useful teaching tool for teachers of American history and culture, science, and mass communication.”
Both books were made into acclaimed PBS documentaries. Lewis codirected the film version of “Divided Highways,” which received a 1997 Peabody Award. Ken Burns directed “Empire of the Air” (1991), which earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Informational Special.
The event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the New York State Archives Partnership Trust, the New York State Writers Institute, and UAlbany’s Offices of the President and Provost, as part of UAlbany’s Hudson 400 theme semester. A reception and book signing will follow Lewis’s presentation.
For additional information, contact the Writers Institute
at 518-442-5620 or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.